Melon Headband Tracks Your Focus


The quantified self is all the rage, with devices such as Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex tracking physical activity and sleep. Now a new gadget from a US startup called Melon aims to help users track and boost their mental concentration.

The device just wrapped up its Kickstarter campaign, where it achieved its $100K goal within 60 hours and has since reached nearly $300K.

Relying on electroencephalography (EEG), the Melon headband monitors brain activity as you go about your everyday activities. By monitoring tiny electrical charges let off by neurons firing in your brain, the gadget can detect how well you’re concentrating on a task, from writing a report to practicing yoga, all while giving you real-time feedback on how to improve.

Melon also claims to feature filtering technologies that can eliminate noise frequencies in your environment, and its embedded NeuroSky chip can measure neural activity with 96 percent accuracy, the company says.

To use Melon, you slip on the headband and, using its dedicated app on your smartphone, add in details about what you’re doing and how you’re feeling, such as in a coffee shop, studying math, listening to classical music, and feeling calm. During the study session, Melon tracks your focus levels, and suggests activities, such as a quick stretch or a walk, to help you maintain a more consistent focus. Over time, the device can learn what works best for you, which things you do that distract your focus, and how you can improve it.

Backers of the Kickstarter campaign were promised a headband ($99) by November, but no word is yet available as to when Melon will have the product ready for commercial sale.

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